When Melden had been born, they’d gotten the standard media pack from the delivery center. They’d posted pictures immediately on Register and Soshio. Melden’s Soshio was standard fare for a newborn: little clenched fists, tiny foot prints and palm prints, button-nosed innocence swaddled in real knits. The whole thing was tethered to their own nodes of course, with little summaries of Ma and Pa. No sibs as yet. It took a lot for a new person to get noticed on Soshio but little Melden did well.
When Melden turned three months old, Soshio congratulated them and sent Melden a statutory 50 Likes. It did so again on his first birthday: his Ma and Pa saw this when they ‘casted the small gathering on private share. On that day his Ma stopped to browse the nodes of little Kendren and little Tanaka: they’d been invited to the birthday party along with their parents. Kendren and Tanaka already had Exists on Soshio – 2 each, to be precise – and they were scarcely older than Melden.
Huh, Melden’s Ma had mused.
And then she’d had to stop to set up for dinner… which meant even more surfing, but for recipes instead.
When Melden turned two, Soshio congratulated them again and auto-installed a Piggywig theme on Melden’s node. Melden’s Ma and Pa thought it was kind of sweet, given Piggywig was his favorite story character. By now Melden had over 1390 Likes. His Ma was curious and checked little Kendren’s node. 3 Exists!
Melden’s Ma spent the evening browsing a lot of other nodes: Children of friends. Children of friends twice or even thrice removed. The vast majority had garnered at least 2 or 3 Exists by now. True, others had more media, but it wasn’t like Melden had a shabby net. They were in with a decent number of folks, too, and were fairly active on Soshio.
Melden’s Pa said he’d noticed it too. It was early days though, he’d said, and reminded her that ‘you know, there was a time when none of this sort of thing mattered’.
She groaned but couldn’t suppress the chuckles: it was a recurring line in Grave Errors, a hit comicstream for the 50-plus crowd… folks who practically grew up on zombie lore and the chaos of Proto-Sentience tech. ‘Quite.’, she replied in the spirit of things. ‘Now will you please just fucking log in?’
It was his turn to laugh.